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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-S109-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2006
Retrieved March 17, 2018, from

Article Summary

Secession occurs when a portion of a state breaks away either to form its own sovereign country or to join with another state. Because secessionist conflicts are essentially contests over territory, theories of state-breaking presuppose various positions regarding political legitimacy. Most theorists now acknowledge that a group might have the right to secede when it has been treated sufficiently unjustly, but a growing minority (especially nationalists who trumpet the importance of political self-determination) now contend that groups sometimes have the right to political divorce even in the absence of injustice.

Citing this article:
Wellman, Christopher Heath. Secession, 2006, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-S109-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

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